So, you’ve created a product, you’ve taken the photos, set up your online shop, created some social media channels, you’ve even got your taxes in order. But… you’re still finding that very few people are even seeing your new brand.
Firstly (and most importantly), don’t panic. We’ve all been there.
Although it’s easy for us to say – we’re not sitting at your desk, feeling more and more frustrated by your stagnant website metrics – have patience. This is not a representation of you, your product, your efforts, or the brand that you have created.
Boosting your traffic
The technique of reversing this trend lies in getting your business in front of more people.
The simple fact is that the web is an unimaginably vast place. There are an incredible number of businesses out there, who are all trying to do exactly the same thing as you are. We’re not saying that to be disheartening, but this is an important point to note.
It means that you need to do things differently to these many other businesses. Namely, that you need to make your product stand out from the crowd, and so draw in a more specific group of potential customers, who are excited by your product in all its uniqueness.
Not sure what we mean by this? It’s a tricky field to familiarise yourself with, but the world of self-promotion is all about carving out a niche for yourself, then thriving within it.
In this series of blog posts, we’ll be covering three of the main ways in which you can achieve this: winning an award, attracting the attention of an influencer, and garnering an impressive social media following.
With these techniques mastered, you’ll soon be able to watch your audience (and consequent sales) grow.
Win an award
A number of the brands listed on our website have won impressive achievements, certifications and awards. These include the likes of Freda’s winning Great Taste Awards across their product range; Beeutiful which won Theo Paphitis’ Small Business Sunday Award in 2017 and then the founder, Carly, being listed by Small Business Britain as one of 2021’s most inspiring female entrepreneurs; and KIND2, which was shortlisted as the Beauty Best Zero Waste Product 2020 and received Editor’s Choice in 2021.
We understand that this might sound like a difficult place to start with your self-promotion. But, there’s a lot of benefits to this strategy.
When you win an award, your company not only gets official recognition for its quality, style and innovation, but it also puts your name in front of a wealth of new customers. Plus, the award makes for a great inclusion to your social media and website.
How does one go about winning an award, though? There are countless awards and competitions out there. The bulk of these can be entered online. So, it might be a slightly laborious process, but try entering your business in as many of these as you can (after all, you have to be in it to win it).
The great thing about a lot of these competitions is that the focus is placed on merit rather than existing reputation – so, even if none of the judges knew about your brand before, they’ll assess your company based on what they see you submit. As long as you’re happy with that, you’re in with a pretty good shot.
What’s more, they’re mostly free to enter – so it’s a pretty good deal, for such a beneficial piece of company marketing.
Attract the attention of influencers
One of the businesses listed on our platform – Holy Lama Naturals – is a great example of how influencers can be used in a business marketing strategy. Their products have been recommended on social media by the likes of Nigella Lawson and previous finalists of The Great British Bake Off. Pretty cool claim, right?
This social media strategy seems to be the new way to undertake company marketing. For those of you who aren’t familiar with influencers, this term covers the social media account of a real person – who typically creates informal and engaging content about their lives and who they are – which have a large following.
Often, companies will contact the influencer, and ask them if they can send them some of their products (for free). The purpose behind this being the chance that the influencer may talk about the product on their channels.
There is a chance that the influencer may not review or mention your product (they are well within their rights to do this). Or, they may leave it a negative, or neutral review (again, it is their channel, so they can say whatever they choose). But, it is this personable approach which is precisely what makes this advertising strategy work so well.
Modern audiences are becoming more attracted to what they see as honest reviews, by an influencer who they engage with.
There’s a lot of benefits to be gained if the influencer likes your brand, and then says so on their channel.
Think about it – their fan base is filled with like-minded individuals so, from your perspective, it is essentially a form of targeted marketing.
The best way to ensure the success of this strategy is to:
- Identify an influencer who shares your brand’s values – this could be in terms of style, ethos or product category.
- Contact them in a friendly and personable way.
- Show them that you are a small-scale, independent business, who would really benefit from their support
- If they are interested in receiving your product, package it up really beautifully, and include a personalised note – ‘unboxing’ videos are really popular on social media, so if you can get featured on one of these, that’s a big win.
Engaging in influencer marketing may feel like a big, unknown step, but actually it’s a relatively simple process. These influencers receive similar packages all the time, so they know exactly what to do.
Their experience is a fantastic assistance for your business’ promotion strategy, as they know exactly how to create attractive, engaging content, which will attract their audience. Plus, when all it costs is the price of postage and gifting a few of your products, it’s very affordable.
Some influencers may wish to strike a deal with you, where they receive payment for their services. This could be a direct fee for an ad campaign (which typically involves a post and/or a series of social media story posts), or an affiliate link or code. You can find out more about how these paid promotional campaigns work via this handy definition of Affiliate Marketing from SEObility.
These paid campaigns are an absolute win-win for both parties, so if you can afford to engage in this type of marketing, we would highly recommend that you do so.
In the next instalment of this blog series, we’ll be covering all things social media. We’ll be sharing our top tips for how you can grow your social media channel, in a way which is professional, stays true to your brand values, and draws in an extensive audience who are loyal to your brand.
So, stay tuned for our next set of indie business tips.